February 16, 2018 2:37 pm
Updated: February 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Indigenous advocate questions police response to Colten Boushie rally

More than 100 people gathered at Victoria Park to show support for Boushie's family, and express frustration with Canada's justice system.

Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

A peaceful demonstration against the acquittal of a Saskatchewan man in the shooting death of a young First Nations man could have turned into a violent confrontation on Monday had it not been for the leadership of local organizers.

That was the message from the former chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Leslee White-Eye at the London Police Services Board meeting on Thursday.

READ MORE: Indigenous lawyer weighs in on moving forward after the Boushie verdict

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White-eye was at Monday’s march and rally to the London courthouse on Queen’s Avenue from Victoria Park to protest the verdict in the Colten Boushie case.

She told the board that police and security staff seemed to form a wall between protesters and the building.

“There was an immediate feeling of tension, we felt for a moment that this could escalate out of control, because of how we were approached,” White-Eye said.

READ MORE: Acquittal in Colten Boushie death a ‘prime example of how racism still exists,’ says local Indigenous activist

White-eye suggested the board reach out to the organizers of the rally to better understand how they felt about the security presence, and how to better handle it in the future.

She noted the board has an opportunity to build better relationships with the Indigenous community and its young leaders.

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